Good morning.

This is week 2 of the Employment Tribunal hearing in the case of Maya Forstater v CGD, CGD(Europe) and Masood Ahmed; we are expecting the Court to begin around 10 am
This is Jenny Smith @GoodyActually tweeting this morning.

All our tweets from the first week of the hearing have been collected at…
Abbreviations we use:

BC = Ben Cooper QC, counsel for
MF = Maya Forstater – Claimant
AP = Anya Palmer, assisting BC
OD = Olivia Dobbie, counsel for the respondents
EJ = Employment judge, leading the three-person panel hearing the case.
Panel = any one of the three members
CGDE (CGD Europe) – Respondent 1
CGD = Centre for Global Development – Respondent 2
MA = Masood Ahmed, President of CGD and Chair of the Board of CGDE – Respondent 3
We are expecting today to hear evidence from Luke Easley (LE), Director of Finance and Administration / HR Director of GCD (based in Washington).
We understand that Mr Easley is in the UK to give his evidence. Note that the court is fully "virtual" - all participants including panel members, barristers and witnesses are participating 'remotely', as are all observers including us.
We begin. The Clerk to the Court is introducing the session - reminding participants of the ground rules for hearing. What to do re connectivity problems. No eating or drinking except water please. Mute when not speaking. Hearing must not be recorded.
EJ: reminds everyone of reporting restrictions in place (4 individuals' names & their email addresses must not be reported in Great Britain; it is a criminal offence to do so)
EJ: introduces Luke Easley LE

BC: I no longer have to take Friday away, a case has been vacated

EJ: Good: we can use Friday.
LE: [following EJ] affirms truth, whole truth, nothing but the truth.
OD: Asks LE to turn to witness statement and confirm name, and that has read statement

EJ: reminds LE has made 2 statements

OD: asks LE has read both the 2 and to confirm they are true

LE: yes
BC [begins questioning LE]

BC: Statement of values from 2018/9 for CGD, does LE recognise?

LE: yes
BC: Link here to gender diversity poliy?
LE: yes

BC: email exchange here (LE not involved} but can you see discussing reactions to Ms Ssazbo's report?
BC: And they are discussing decision not to publicise addition of that policy?

LE: Was not involved
BC: Draft version of Ms Szabo's reports with Ms Huang's comments. She is saying gender diversity statement does not say clearly what can be said in public: and she is accepting that it was in any case never advertised so MF could not have known its contents
LE [agrees that is what is said}

BC: quotes a note saying policy was not publicised internally or externally

LE: agree
BC: CGD value statement includes: non-partisan, & intellectual rigour on all topics, openness, sense of humour

LE: yes
BC: values statement says "transparency diversity personal & professional integrity"

BC: let's talk about transparancy
And integrity

[BC is taking LE through each one & expanding each a bit; LE is agreeing each time]
BC: from HR point of view - these would apply both to employees and those who are not - associates and so on?

LE: yes
BC: If you are doing an investigation or process that involved a judgement on any individual you need to do that fairly
LE: yes
BC: transparently?
LE: to degree possible
BC: particular when affects future professional life of that person, in CGD or outside?
LE: yes
LE: there are limits to transparency

BC: someone needs to know what you looking at them for. They need the equivalent of a charge sheet.

LE: don't know what "charge sheet" is? Or "natural justice"?
BC: they need to know what charged with. What process is. What potential consquences are.

LE: yes

BC: They need probity -
LE: don't understand term "probity"
BC: OK let's say integrity
BC: Would be wrong to give false or incomplete information to person subject to a process?

LE: yes

BC: we can agree that if we found a departure from any of those principles, CGD's principles, we would think it unusual?
LE: agrees.

BC: moving on to "diversity" in that values statement.
BC: This is an *updated* set of values - from after claimant left?
LE: yes
BC: adds "inclusion". Is this different from "diversity"
LE: yes I think so
BC: do we agree they are not words with universal definitions. Different things to different people?
LE: Agreed. Though that's true of many words
BC: we are going to be looking at inclusion and diversity of sex, and also of belief, at this hearing.

BC: we can agree that CGD is committed to democratic values?
LE: yes
BC: and to discussion and debate?
LE: yes
LE: well, within CGD work
BC: discussion and debate within work-related values. CGD values include vigorous debate - and disagreement - on political matters?
BC: in the political space - outside CGD - political campaigning is an important democratic value?
LE: yes
BC: including rhetoric tools - campaigning materials
LE: yes
BC: CGD does not say that political materials in a democracy should be censored in case of offence?
BC: am trying to establish that CGD had at that time explicit policy of impartiality, not-partisanship and promoting debate
LE: yes
BC: no policy on restricting debate on political topics
LE: we had policy of non-partisanship and [missed a bit]
BC: non-partisanship. CGD policy was that people might be required to say "NB this is not a CGD position" but, did not limit what anyone could say
LE: Yes but caveat of appropriateness
BC: This is essay posted on CGD website.
LE: yes
BC: it's explicit about a) non-partisanship of CGD itself and b) CGD encouraging its people to explore their own interests
LE yes
BC: email from Owen Barder defending Maya Forstater and a colleague for views expressed on Twitter. States CGD non-partisanship and also freedom of CGD *people* to express their views?
LE: yes
BC: we'll come back to the caveats (respect, accuracy) but we agree values?
LE: yes
BC: Complaint from Martin Kirk - a significant figure in international development?
LE: Don't know but if you say so
BC: MK complains that MF and JS are "aggressive" - "barrage of trolling" - gives example of a report being called "fake news".
BC: this is a robust attack? on a report by another development organisation?
LE: yes quite robust
BC: it's OK to use these terms?
LE: there is context - this is within CGD 'sphere'
BC: I think we are agreeing that before judging what someone says we have to consider whole context?
LE: yes

BC: Back to Mr Barder's email: he says "tweet seems entirely reasonable given the medium".
LE: yes
BC: He's saying people can be more robust on Twitter than in an academic paper?
LE: yes it's a pretty robust medium
BC: Twitter is like the agora, the marketplace. Free and open.
LE: It's certainly much more converstational than an academic paper.
BC: Back to values at CGD. Particularly at London office. Culture of discussion and debate. Do you have comment on that?
LE: My experience in London office maybe only 3 weeks in total. So can't speak to culture really
BC: But. looking at complaints vs claimant - surely you would have had to consider in the context of London office?
LE: [missed]
BC: Understanding what claimant said needed putting in context of overarching CGD context? And whether that differed btw London and Washington?
LE: yes
BC: but you're not able to say what London context was?
LE: To an extent I could but not all
BC: Email from Mr Plant, copying you in.
BC: Describes London culture: looking at male-dominated culture. He says its an informal office, lots of banter, both work-related and not work-related.

Is that like Washington?
LE: Washington feels a bit different.
BC: you're on this email, did that not alert you to potential differences of culture?
LE: not aware
BC: asks a number of Qs about London office
LE: says "can't comment" to all of them
BC: more Qs about what went on in London - lots of issues (political/moral/ethical discussions)
LE: Not aware/no comment on any of them
BC: MF says that people brought in booklets, leaflets, materials from many marches / meetings they had been to

LE: can't comment
BC: you see this is surely relevant to whether it was OK for MF to bring in a leaflet, and to discuss, a meeting she had been to? Important that you understood context of this?
LE: Don't know. It didn't feel important at the time when I was looking at claimant's actions.
BC: [takes LE to a CGD document about importance of airing ideas often and early - find out who's interested - get discussion going]

BC: this is a classic proposing of free speech?

LE: this is re work-related discussion I think
BC: We can agree that CGD is saying that discussion is important for getting ideas going and finding out who's interested?
LE: yes
BC: discussion necessarily involves making arguments?
LE: yes involves debate
BC: and CGD does not object to robust argument?
LE: no
BC: one could use pejorative terms like proselytise? But that just means, making an argument?
LE: yes but must not claim an argument is a truth.
BC: consider veganism. Someone might think that it was a moral and a practical position? Morally and practically correct both?

BC: you would not consider such a vegan to be doing wrong?

LE: If they called meat eaters 'delusional' I would
BC: [missed some - the dog walker came [!]]
BC: At this time CGD had no social media policy at all
LE: No we didn't
BC: CGD staff & associates did different things - some people used their CGD roles, some used their names and put CDG on bio and so on
LE: yes
BC: Email from you LE just after you had the complaints?
LE: yes
BC [quotes] we do not have social media policy, if we did we should make clear people are not speaking *for* CGD, refer to bullying/harassment policy, be clear about not restricting their freedom of speech
LE: yes
BC: see Szabo report. She says there is no corporate position and no policy on staff etc engaging in external debate. That would apply to MF? No policy or guidance on parameters of external debate existed? Ms Szabo is correct about that?
LE: yes
BC: [reiterates] - not only no written policy, there was no corporate position or guidance at all?
LE: No
BC: [refers to an email] - this person is saying there is no corporate position? Saying there is no guidance could be given to someone starting out as an associate or staff member?
LE: yes
BC: discussion here that there *would* be speech limites - "race extermination" for example - is that the comparison being made?
LE: I never saw that comparison
BC: In all the communications we've been looking at here, there is no distinction made between the claimaint and any member of staff? She was considered under standards applying to staff?
LE: yes
BC: People did comment on these issues, without sanction or complaint?
LE: ?
BC: Here is Ms Glassman re what should be said to claimant. She says it would be inconsistent to tell claimant what can be tweeted because nobody else is told this?
LE: This is the first time we'd had to grapple with anyone's social media use

BC: Am going to take you through a few docs then ask a Q
BC: Mr Mitchell here says "can we ask claimant to state 'not CGD views'. Did we do this to X and to Y when they commented on Z? Would be inconstent.
BC: Example is 2 colleagues, one posting pro-manel-'ban' and one opposing manel-ban. Mr Mitchell is saying "we didn't make either of them say their views were or not CGD policy, either before or after we changed CGD policy on them".
BC: There clearly was no policy of preventing CGD researchers posting robustly on both sides of an important diversity question?

LE: but there's context and also language to consider
BC: We have not had the tweets in question disclosed. Why is that?
LE: don't know.
BC: What I am getting at is it's not true CGD had not grappled with social media issue before?
LE: I didn't know about manels thing till yesterday
BC: I meant CGD, not you personally
LE: Don't know
BC: here's an example of a very robust tweet about a Trump nominee. Very robust language.
LE: yes
BC: CGD didn't require person to say "not CGD position."
LE: No
BC: Just a CGD tweet saying we are non-partisan
LE: Yes
BC: Claimant was being treated very differently.

BC: Do you accept that you should have made sure properly to understand claimant's beliefs in all this?
LE: I was more concerned about colleagues and about the language used.
LE: I did not get bogged down in trying to understand the nuance of her belief, no.
BC: We are looking at EAT ruling re claimant's beliefs. You have read it?
LE: A while ago but yes
BC: Claimant's belief is stated. Do you understand that there is a philophical belief stated here? Materialism is a philiosophical belief, partic on the left? Do you understand this?
LE: I don't know.

BC: Do you understand claimant's belief that women and girls because of their material reality experience life differently from anyone's gender identity?
LE: Not sure I did understand it no.
LE: I looked at more 'reality' than 'material'
BC [takes LE through further elements of the EAT ruling and claimant's beliefs]

BC: Now looking from Miller: statement by Kathleen Stock: endorsed by EAT judge. Says there is nothing wrong with belief that woman = adult human female. And that gender identity is different.
BC: Did claimant not agree with Stock that transpeople are deservicing rights and dignity, throughout?

LE: not clear to me
BC: we will explore as we go
BC: Claimant referred you to writing by Kathleen Stock on philosophical postion?
LE: Yes. I did skim through them
BC: Did you understand that claimant believes sex and gender identiy different, should not be conflated
LE: Not really
BC: that she believes people should generally be treated by gender identity ...
LE: not really
BC: ... but that on occasion sex =/= identity matters?
LE: Understand her position a bit better now.

BC: Does CGD have a position that sex and gender identity are the same thing?

LE: Internally yes. I can't speak about externally.
BC: Re internal vs external. One can hold the belief claimant does and still use people's pronouns?
LE: yes
BC: Hold belief and treat people at work according to identity?
LE: Yes
LE: CGD treats people in all respect according to their gender identity.
BC: Does CGD have an instituational position on what law shuld be?
LE: Don't know. My focus is internal
BC: So no position on whether someone can say sex =/= gender identity in a debate? Or TW are not women?
LE: Disagree
BC: But this is important. You are then not objecting to HOW she speaks - tone - you are objecting to WHAT she says. To her belief.
LE: I think "a man's internal feelings have no basis in material reality" is offensive.

BC: This may be a good point to pause?
EJ: [finishing a note]
EJ: Yes, we will break. Remind LE must speak to nobody re case. Restart in 10
[We're starting again]

BC: Looking at LE's 2nd witness statement:
LE: initially can't find page - Oh OK I have it

BC: You say "we would not keep someone on website after ending affilication
LE: Yes
BC: You say here after removal of claimant that this is done in line with CGD policy. Did you know this was policy or did you just think so

LE: Was confused
EJ: [intervenes to re-read the reporting restrictions order]
EJ: LE you were saying it was your understanding which you now know to be confused.

BC: Mr Easley you did understand need to give truth & whole truth in statement and to tribunal?
BC: But you didn't make clear this confusion when you affirmed your statement this morning?
LE: Didn't realise I could jump ahead like that

BC: This is claimant's website profile while she was there. Feb 2019. She was visiting fellow until she wasn't.
LE: yes
BC: Looking at chronology. 5th March 2019, just after termination of fellowship. Request to remove claimant from website. Does NOT say "as you usually do for ex fellows"
LE: No it doesnot
BC: Says here normal practice (April 2019) is to change people from fellow profile to alumni profile.
LE: yes.
BC: 5th May - claimant launches crowdfunder.
LE: Didn't know. 5th May = Sunday Times article, to me.
BC: article was (partly) about crowdfunder.

BC: 8-9 May - her page is removed.

LE: Yes
BC: 22 May - claimant amends case to include removal of page as a victimisation claim. At that time - the alumni page included a number for former fellows.
LE: Yes
BC: We don't get policy of not retaining alumni pages until 10 June.
LE: Yes
BC: in fact when CGD filed resistance to claim, the alumni page still existed with many people on it.
BC: in late June the alumni page was finally cleared.
LE: yes
BC: I summarise. When claimant's page was removed, CGD policy was to retain alumni pages. Your statement given is untrue in this respect.
LE: I was mistaken.
BC: When you made statement, was it your knowledge, was it an assumption, or were you told.
LE: Mix of knowledge and assumption.
BC: You didn't check.
LE: Regrettably no
BC: Claimant's page was initally retained as alumna
LE: Yes
BC: and was removed after she filed claim
LE: Yes
BC: And CGD (am not saying you personally mr Easley) sought to hide what was done by later actions

LE: [missed]
BC: you say the first part was the same mistake/confusion you had made?}
LE: Yes
BC: you also say that the removal was in response to Sunday Times article.
LE: Not involved but I think so
BC: Somebody must have told somebody in web team to remove the whole of the alumni page. Chronology suggests that is not unrelated to this case.

LE: Not suggesting unrelated. Agree they were related.
BC: And this happened in order to suggest that the false statement in the respondents' Grounds for Resistance was not false?

LE: Disagree. I would think it standard to remove profiles
LE: Am saying comms team decided not good idea to retain alumni pages because of case, but they would not have known what was said in Grounds Of Resistance, so not a cover up.
BC: You are saying related to case, but not to Grounds? in spite of chronology? How do you know comms team did not know of Grounds of Resistance?
LE: I assume that.
LE: This case highlighted not a good idea to keep old pages. Don't know who decided.
BC: Truthful position in Grounds would have been "it WAS our policy to keep alumni pages; we removed claimant bcs Sunday Times; and we've subsequently changed alumni policy"- ?
LE: I agree
BC: we can see it's not about this case highlighting policy though? Web page here makes a *virtue* of highlighting long term links with alumni?
BC: This is not simply a question of misunderstandings and assumptions. The respondent has presented a false case in respect to claimant's web page.

LE: I don't see that.
BC: different topic. Another point in Grounds of Resistance is that CGD and CGD Europe are separate. We agree structural separations eg trustees. But can we agree that in practice they operate as a single integrated international think tank.
LE: from HR point of view they are different & separate

OD: intervenes to make sure BC talks of what true at the time not what happened later.

BC: happy to clarify
BC: At that time CGD and CGD(E) operated as single international think tank.

LE: no -

BC: am not talking of adminstratively.
LE: not sure I am right person to ask.
BC: But you are main person in statements re employment etc. However let's proceed.

BC: Can we agree CGD(E) is charitable company limited by guarantee established 2014 by CGD who is sole member of company
LE: yes
CGD(E) trustees and directors appointed by CGD(US)
LE: Yes
BC: CGD(E) trustees at time included Mr Ahmed Ms Glassman Ms Mackenzie plus two independent as required by rules

LE: Yes
BC: CGD(E) always financially supported by CGD
LE: Yes
BC: audit purposes - CGD(E) finances consolidated within CGD's
LE: yes
BC: because under common control
LE: yes
BC: 2015 on, CGD(E) trustee report: under related parties it says work closely with CGD.
LE: Yes
BC: 2017 CGD(E) trustee report says same
LE: yes
BC: 2018: different wording but again says work with CGD on joint projects and initaitives
LE: yes
BC: consequence of that in-principle decision by trustees - here is 2018 - day to day operation delegated to strategy & planning group of CGD.
LE: yes
BC: "SPG" = senior people at CGD that set strategy?
LE: sort of
BC: and none of the task reserved by CGD(E) trustees related to staff employment or appointment of fellows.
LE: Agree
BC: Delegation of day to day management - 2016 board of directors meeting minutes. Say delegation to SPG enables integration of CGD(E) into management structures of CGD.
LE: Yes
BC: Essay we looked at earlier [I think values one] says SPG meets every other week. SPG is the management
LE: not sure
BC: there is this idea of "One CGD" by which I understand Mr Ahmed introduced Jan 2017.
LE: Yes "integrated programme model"
BC: means substantive work is done *across* the locations, not organised based on location
LE: yes tho some were local
BC: email re organisation structures going forward?
LE: didn't see
BC: CGD(E) under Mr Barder had been looking for more independence, but this email says, they were not going to get that?
OD: intervenes that LE not privy
BC: will be raising with Mr Ahmed but still wish to Q Mr Easley re his own understanding.

BC: email here with 3 options - one recommended is "subsidiary model". Retaining "One CGD" - that was current?
LE: yes
BC: As of Mr Ahmed's appointment?
LE: It was a bit more organic and developing than that
BC: Email here re joint functioning especially fundraising
LE: Yes tho there was also local fundraising.
BC: Here re subsidiary model - explicit not a branch model? You may not have seen?
LE: not able to comment no
BC: email here saying CGD(E) to change to reinforce "One CGD" principle. Mr Barder lost suggestion for more independence.
LE: Hard for me to say
BC: that's fine
BC: Here talk of single programme structure? You are aware yes?
LE: yes
BC: Says here, Operations Comms and fundraising will operate within CGD structure. Comms and fundraising already largely do: operations will become more integrated too.
LE: I think that was partly aspirational - still not fully integrated now
BC: Operations *becoming* more integrated?
LE: yes
BC: Fundraising already integrated
LE: Yes but, not quite as clearcut as that
BC: And Comms also already integrated
LE: Yes
BC: 2017 CEO report for CDG Europe. We can see the "One CGD" principle. Says for day to day purposes CGDE managed by CGD, supervised by the SPG.
LE: I can only comment on my own section of work
BC: you didn't meet the claimant until Dec 2018
LE: I think it was actually Jan 2019

BC: So you'd given evidence about her employment and status by then, but from the abstract?
LE: Not abstract, but from my exp of fellows etc
LE: confirms had not been at any meetings with the claimant herself where employment status discussed.
BC: So looking at chronology of claimant within CGD and looking at your statement. Claimant contracted in 2015 for 1 paper
LE: yes
BC: Then worked with VR on a work programme re tax flows
LE: yes
BC: a "work programme" is a project CGD want to follow?
LE: may not be right person to comment
BC: CGD work programmes are CGD undertakings?
LE: not best person to ask
BC: You had said 'collaborative'?
BC: I suggest that your answers are a spin on the case and given in light of issues now raised?
LE: No.
BC: Here is letter saying hope is to bring MF on board as visiting fellows in a few months. This was common in CGD? Expectation of funded work often -> visiting fellowship?
LE: don't know
BC: I am saying it is not uncommon?
LE: Visiting fellowship is intended to be a mutually beneficial relationship
BC: Here we see where VR is suggesting claimant for fellowship now that funding appears imminent?
LE: Yes
BC: Here is offer of fellowship. Ms Glassman making clear will include office space London & DC as needed and hope of event participation etc
BC This is not a position ring-fenced re Washington, this is a relationship with CGD organisation-wide inc London. Visiting fellowship always whole of CGD

LE: disagrees - people say "fellow in London" or "in DC"
LE: Staff and fellows do differentiate by location
BC: look at LE witness statement. You say visiting fellowships were always relationship with CGD not CGD Europe.
LE: yes
BC: You say this with understanding of this case.
LE: No, I say re who invites, all that
BC: You are trying to mislead tribunal to have relationship viewed as with CGD, not CGD Europe.
LE: No I'm not.
BC: In practice there's a distinction between visiting fellows based outside CGD, eg, academics working elsewhere - where there is the "mutual benefit" you describe ... that exists?
LE: yes
BC: the other type is paid visiting fellows?
BC: this means fellows who do NOT have secure employment elsewhere, and they are brought in to work for CGD?
LE: have never thought of it in those terms
BC: My point is that the "external" fellows do not and can't present as part of CGD, internal ones do?
BC: Externals can't publish on CGD?
LE: Don't know.
BC: [several examples of what external fellows don't / can't do] LE to each: don't know
BC: Whereas for "internal" fellows, they are only there because the paid work for them to do exists?
OD: intervenes - pls clarify
BC: There is no benefit for an "internal" fellow if there is no work for them to do?
BC: and there is no benefit to CGD from relationship if there is no work to be done?
LE: Don't know.

BC:Apologies if you are wrong person but yours was the statement about these status matters.
BC: We have here examples of visiting fellows that are paid, and those that are not?
LE: I see what is said but don't know what to conclude from that
LE: Re-states that in his experience paid work and visiting fellowships are not connected.
BC: Agreed overall but that is different from saying that *some* fellowships were related to funding obtained.
BC: You say there is a rigid distinction between the honorific title of visiting fellow, and the obtaining of paid work. We say this is not so - we can see many examples of the link.
BC: in your statements you say circumstances when fellowships would not be renewed. All examples you give are of the fellows not meeting expectations.
LE: I don't remember exact details
BC: Claimant's fellowship was tied - she says - to funding for the tax flows programme. She is right surely? If she had not succeeding in the funding there would have been no appointment? And when she says if no funding, it would not continue?
BC: The fellowships I've said - the internal, paid ones - were partic important at CGD Europe? While they built up external relationships they needed internal research?
LE: Sure but I don't make that link with paid/funded
[ Court is now stopping for lunch and will resume at 2pm]
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